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Sol-Farm to host Ethiopian New Year celebrations

Sol-Farm Lodge in Lilongwe is expected to host Enkutatash, an Ethiopian New Year celebration, Saturday, with organisers promising a fun-filled cultural day.

Sol Farm Marketing Manager, Meskerem Abera, said Thursday all was set for the event, which will see The Daughters from Music Crossroads Malawi strutting their stuff.

Abera said Ethiopians have a unique calendar, derived from the Coptic Calendar— meaning that it is seven to eight years behind the Gregorian calendar.

She said, unlike the rest of the world, Ethiopians celebrate their new year, also called Enkutatash, on September 11 (or 12 during a leap year).

“In September, the rainy and foggy season ends and fields and hills are covered with blooming flowers. Enkutatash means gift of jewels in Amharic language,” Abera said.

According to Legend, this time is associated with the return of the Queen of Sheba from a trip to King Solomon of Israel about 3,000 years ago and that the Queen had gifted King Solomon with a large amount of spices and jewels and when she returned home, her chiefs welcomed her by replenishing her treasury with jewels.

Abera said the Ethiopian New Year is celebrated in the country at Sol-Farm Lodge in Lilongwe.

“The celebration will be attended by members of the Ethiopian and international community and is open to the public. At the event, people will experience Ethiopian cultural food and drinks and music,” Abera said.

She also said that people will also experience Chibo burning – a ceremony that symbolises the end of the old year and welcoming of a new year, with people chanting and dancing around fire, wishing each other a happy new year.

“We have collaborated with Music Crossroads Malawi to make sure that we also have Malawian and other international artists at the event,” Abera said.

Music Crossroads Malawi Director, Mathews Mfune, said Thursday they were happy to be part of the event.

“We, as a country, should embrace other cultures,” Mfune said.

Daughters Band leader, Phalyce Kumdana, said Thursday they were ready for the showdown.

“We, as a band, are ready and, apart from our usual set, have added another instrument, the violin. We also have a second guitar; so, patrons will see something unique,” Kumdana said.

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